Thursday, June 8, 2017

UPDATED:: 'Am I going to die?' Gay man testifies at church trial

UPDATE::  Juror's documents lead to mistrial in gay beating trial
A judge held a juror in contempt and declared a mistrial Tuesday in the case of a North Carolina church minister charged in the beating of a congregant who says he was attacked to expel his "homosexual demons." 
Superior Court Judge Gary Gavenus immediately sentenced the juror, Perry Shade Jr., to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. Gavenus said Shade brought in three documents Tuesday and handed them out to his fellow jurors. One of the documents was North Carolina case law.

Gavenus said he wasn't sure when a new trial would be scheduled for Brooke Covington, 58, a longtime minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina. Covington faced up to two years in prison if convicted on charges of kidnapping and assaulting former member Matthew Fenner in January 2013.

"This juror has impaired the integrity and fairness of the trial ... therefore I am removing this juror and declaring a mistrial," Gavenus said.

The audience gasped. Fenner dropped his head.
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A North Carolina man thought he was "going to die" when members of his evangelical church beat and choked him for two hours to expel his "homosexual demons," he testified Thursday.

Matthew Fenner was the first person to take the stand in the assault and kidnapping trial of Brooke Covington, a 58-year-old minister at Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, North Carolina.

Fenner, 23, said Covington was the leader in a 2013 beating involving numerous congregants. He said Covington pointed out his sexual orientation, saying, "God said there is something wrong in your life."
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Covington faces up to two years in prison if convicted. She is the first of five church members to face trial in the case. Each defendant will be tried separately.

'Am I going to die?' Gay man testifies at church trial

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